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Growth, fluctuations and technology in the U.S. post-war economy

  • Jesús Rodríguez López


    (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)

This paper explores several issues concerning how technology affects growth and fluctuations during several U.S. postwar series. The nature of technology is divided into neutral progress and investment-specific progress. Accounting for several changes in the first and second order moments of these series (the slowdown of productivity in 1974, the moderation of 1984 and the resurgence in productivity after 1994), I find that the contribution of investment-specific progress to growth has increased over time. I also find that neutral progress is crucial in explaining the cyclical component of output (before and after 1984), contrary to results found in related literature. However, the shocks to investment-specific progress have played an increasing role in output and other macroeconomic variables. Finally, I conclude that moderation in the macroeconomic series can be associated with technology. In sum, the quality of technological processes affecting long run growth and fluctuations has changed over the past decades.

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Paper provided by Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 10.01.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pab:wpaper:10.01
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  1. Jason G. Cummins & Giovanni L. Violante, 2002. "Investment-specific technical change in the US (1947-2000): measurement and macroeconomics consequences," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-10, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Dale W. Jorgenson, 2001. "Information Technology and the U.S. Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 1-32, March.
  3. José-Víctor Ríos-Rull & Frank Schorfheide & Cristina Fuentes-Albero & Raul Santaeulalia-Llopis & Maxym Kryshko, 2009. "Methods versus substance: measuring the effects of technology shocks on hours," Staff Report 433, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Andres Arias & Gary D. Hansen & Lee E. Ohanian, 2006. "Why Have Business Cycle Fluctuations Become Less Volatile?," NBER Working Papers 12079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. repec:ucp:bknber:9780226304557 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Douglas Gollin, 2001. "Getting Income Shares Right," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-11, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  7. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Krusell, Per, 1997. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 342-62, June.
  8. Alejandro Justiniano & Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2006. "The Time Varying Volatility of Macroeconomic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 12022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Michael R. Pakko, 2001. "What happens when the technology growth trend changes?: transition dynamics, capital growth and the "new economy"," Working Papers 2001-020, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  10. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2005. "Understanding Changes In International Business Cycle Dynamics," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(5), pages 968-1006, 09.
  11. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2001. "Solving Dynamic General Equilibrium Models Using a Second-Order Approximation to the Policy Function," Departmental Working Papers 200106, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  12. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2002, Volume 17, pages 159-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2000. "The resurgence of growth in the late 1990s: is information technology the story?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-20, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2006. "The Dynamic Effects of Neutral and Investment-Specific Technology Shocks," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(3), pages 413-451, June.
  15. Olivier Blanchard & John Simon, 2001. "The Long and Large Decline in U.S. Output Volatility," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 135-174.
  16. Greenwood, J. & Hercowitz, Z. & Krusell, P., 1998. "The Role of Investment-Specific Technological Change in the Business Cycle," RCER Working Papers 449, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  17. Dale W. Jorgenson & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2000. "Raising the Speed Limit: U.S. Economic Growth in the Information Age," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 125-236.
  18. Gabriel Perez-Quiros & Margaret M. McConnell, 2000. "Output Fluctuations in the United States: What Has Changed since the Early 1980's?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1464-1476, December.
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